Turkish authorities on Monday ordered the detention of 42 former military cadets who are accused of communicating with alleged members of the Gülen movement, a faith-based dissident group inspired by US-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, by using payphones.
The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office ordered the detention of the 42 former military students. The cadets had been summarily dismissed from the Turkish Military Academy in the aftermath of a coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding the botched coup and labels it a terrorist organization. The movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.
Following the coup attempt the Turkish government dismissed some 150,000 civil servants from state jobs and investigated almost 600,000 people, detaining or arresting half of them on trumped-up terrorism-related charges.
According to the Turkish Defense Ministry, a total of 20,077 military personnel have been purged from the Turkish Armed Forces since the failed 2016 coup over their alleged ties to the Gülen movement.